Thursday, December 1, 2011

The Quality Inn & Suites In Saint Charles, Missouri: A Decent Place To Stop.

Quality Inn & Suites Historic St. CharlesQuality Inn & Suites Historic St. Charles

Click to reserve a room directly through Choice Hotels!

The Good: Generally clean, Decent sized room, Good breakfast options
The Bad: Location is a little harder to find/get into, Usual safe tax, Internet did not work
The Basics: This is a good hotel, but not one that will light the world on fire or make a trip to Saint Charles worthwhile on its own.

On my recent cross-country trip, which I have chronicled some in my reviews of the various hotels I stayed at, I learned several valuable lessons or reinforced ideas I had already had. My "play-it-by-ear" lodging plan for the first night of the trip reinforced the idea that I need to plan ahead when I found myself staring at easily the least pleasant lodging option of my life with the Super 8 Motel in New Castle and ultimately ended up overpaying at the Comfort Inn East in Indianapolis. So, while I was at that first stop wallowing in my mistake, I made reservations for the trip home. After an intense night of driving from Law Vegas, meeting a friend in Colorado, I figured I could make it to the St. Louis area before being a real menace on the road. As it turned out, my plan was a good one and I came to rest the only resting night of my cross-country trip home at the Quality Inn & Suites Historic Saint Charles, Missouri.


The Quality Inn & Suites Historic St. Charles (MO180 in the Choice Hotels numbering system) is located at 1425 South Fifth Street in Saint Charles, Missouri. This is not exactly right off Route 70 (the major arterial running east-west through middle America) as there is a Comfort Suites that is more prominently visible when getting off at the same exit. In fact, getting into the Quality Inn & Suites is the first real problem with it. It is oriented "backwards" such that its front door is facing a dingy little parking lot on the opposite side of the major road so that its front is not visible from the major roads and the signs for it are obscured by other buildings' signs.

Saint Charles, Missouri, for those wondering about a larger sense of the location, is a suburb of St. Louis, Missouri in Eastern Missouri. St. Charles is closer to the casino district, the area of the St. Louis area where the riverboat gaming occurs. It does not appear to be a bad area, but it's also not scenic or even terribly interesting.

The Quality Inn & Suites is a multistory drab gray concrete building with a recessed doorway at an angle to the parking lot. Inside, one finds the front desk near a lobby and breakfast room and the instant impression of the place is somewhat claustrophobic. The entrance area is not designed to make one feel welcome. I had booked a room with two double beds, nonsmoking for the after-tax(es) price of $77.12 and I got my room on my second attempt.

Room Size

After finding the front desk manager - he was back in his office studiously ignoring late arrivals like myself and there was no bell on the counter - and being sent to a room that had a light on inside and the key did not work to open, I arrived at my room. The room was, in fact, a nonsmoking room and there was no evidence to suggest that it had ever been anything but. The room had a great sense of space to it with the two double beds not at all dominating the approximately 14 X 30 ft. room.

The bathroom was spacious and had a very nice sized tub and even with the usual desk, the refrigerator and the television/entertainment center, the room had the feeling of being bigger than it actually was. This was a room that used space well. This is nice because the view out the lone window in the place was terrible and so even when the shades were closed, the room felt like it was a good size and not at all claustrophobic (ironic considering the entranceway to the hotel).


What the Quality Inn & Suites had going for it above all else was its cleanliness. From the moment I stepped into the hotel, I felt like I was covered in travel scum and even in my fatigued state I was somewhat reluctant to touch things in the common areas because I was concerned I would soil them with contact (yea 24 hours of driving!). The next morning, after a wonderfully hot shower, I discovered the lobby area and the breakfast room to be as clean as I had imagined, though I felt free to touch anything I wanted.

As for the room, the room was nonsmoking and smelled like it had been forever. The rugs were spotless as was every surface in the room. The toilet passed the first flush test and the fixtures on the shower appear to have been cleaned recently as well as there was no soap or hard-water residue on any of the metal in the shower. After weeks on the road, I appreciated that detail enough to note it and remember it.

The bedding was clean and neatly arranged and the bathroom linens were clean as well. The room fell into the ideal heading of having no evidence anyone else had ever occupied the space and that was nice.

The breakfast area was kept clean throughout the morning with no messes accruing over the three hours breakfast was offered there. The morning staff seemed especially diligent in that regard and I was impressed by their efforts (especially considering the sheer number of children at the hotel that morning who seemed bent on thwarting their cause).


This Quality Inn & Suites had the feeling of a place one passes through, not where one stays for real enjoyment. As a result, along with my own hurry to be on the road, I did not spend time at the pool or weight room (if there even was one). Instead, my stay was more designed to keep me from falling asleep on the road and killing (or being killed by) my traveling companion. Regardless, the Quality Inn & Suites did not offer much in the way of amenities.

There was a safe in the room, which led to the usual hassle of having the $1.50 taken off the bill. Fortunately, I noticed this charge when checking in and had it taken off right then. The room was equipped with the usual Quality Inn shampoo, conditioner, lotion, soap and coffee (I'm drinking some now, as a matter of fact). The television in the room was of decent size with about sixty channels worth of choices. The air conditioner worked fine, as did the room's refrigerator (which is always a nice touch).

Adjacent to the main desk was a small locked room that served as a business center for customers of the hotel. I accessed the business center to use the computer but discovered the internet access for the hotel was not working. That's too bad as that is usually a nice perk at a hotel.

The breakfast was served in an impressive dining area and the breakfast had some nice touches, like scrambled eggs, which were atypical for the chain. There was the usual coffee, tea and three juice options to drink. There was the usual make-your-own waffle station (it's nice to have some standards of quality that travel from city to city!), bagels, mini-muffins and a couple of cereal options. There was also fresh fruit in the form of oranges, apples and bananas. They also had yogurt, which is always a nice surprise to find at a Choice Hotel.

But one of the things that sets any hotel apart from any other (though cleanliness is real big for me!) is the staff. The day staff seemed articulate, kind and available, which was a stark contrast to the help that checked me in at night. I had a reservation and while I was late checking in, it didn't impress me that I had to hunt down the night clerk, get him to show up at his post and then was hassled (twice, because of having to return to get a working key for an unoccupied room) just for wanting to spend money and stay at his hotel. Checking out was a breeze, but checking in was a real annoyance, especially after a long night and day on the road.


The Quality Inn & Suites in Saint Charles is a good stop off when traveling and one of the nice things about it is that it is a reasonably priced hotel for the area and it allows one to find a place to rest before forging through St. Louis traffic. But it's not a great hotel and ultimately, there was nothing terribly special or unique (or inviting) to recommend it for more than a layover location.

For other hotels in the Choice Hotels chain, please be sure to check out my reviews of:
Comfort Inn - Hill City, SD
Quality Inn & Suites Airport - Bloomington, MN (Mall Of America)
Comfort Inn Worlds Of Fun - Kansas City, MO


For other hotel and travel reviews, please visit my index page on the subject by clicking here!

© 2011, 2007 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
Quality Inn & Suites Historic St. CharlesQuality Inn & Suites Historic St. Charles

Click to reserve a room directly through Choice Hotels!

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